I’ve been chewing on the idea ‘Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast’ for a year now. If you’re scratching your head as to what that means exactly, I get it. It’s a little esoteric, for sure. Maybe an example as to HOW ‘culture eats strategy’ would be helpful.
At Norkenzie we have a simple discipleship process we call the 4Gs. As we make disciples for Jesus we explain that everyone has a next step in their walk with Christ. The 4Gs are the large areas where next steps are taken. These Gs are the things that disciples do. Variations of them make up the activity of a disciple’s life. They’re not our identity… our identity is firmly grounded in Christ and what He has done for us. In our pursuit of Him, however, there are things that we do.
This is our ‘strategy’ for discipleship at Norkenzie:
GROW – GATHER – GIVE – GO
We Grow in our relationship with Christ.
We Gather together as family.
We Give our lives away in meaningful service.
We Go as missionaries into our world.
This is our simple 4G disicpleship strategy to help all of us take next steps in our Christian lives. We want to become more like Jesus! But culture eats strategy for breakfast. Let’s take one of our Gs as an example.
GATHER – We want to gather together as family. Scripture tells us that we are the ‘family of God.’ We encourage people in this G, and it’s easy to understand. We need each other. There is strength in the community. The Kingdom of Heaven advances as we Gather together in His Name.
The strategy is simple to understand, but if the culture is ‘anti-family’ then spiritual growth isn’t going to happen in that area. If the church is cold and uncaring, that culture will eat the Gather strategy for breakfast every time! It doesn’t matter how vitally important the strategy is, the culture always wins. People may try 2 or 3 times to live out the strategy because they can see how important it is, but after a few times of being disappointed by the lack of meaningful relationships, they give up on it. They decide that they don’t want to be a part of that after all. Why would they?
Now imagine the reverse. A new person comes into the environment of the church and the culture is that of a loving family. The people hug, laugh and love being together. They are open, caring and receptive to new people too! They want others to be a part of their church family. The words of Jesus ring true, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). It’s clear to the new person that the people of this church love one another! When the Gather strategy is shared with that person, what will their response be? Yeah, I want to be a part of that!
The culture of our church must be consistent with the strategy for the strategy to have a chance. As the two are aligned… great things happen!
How have you seen ‘culture eat strategy for breakfast?’ Or lunch.